Vikings swap pillage for paint to spruce up eyesore

Mike Willis-Minister of the New Life Christian Centre and his wife artist Karen Sinclair-Willis are seen beside the former Benfield Garage at Morpeth which is being spruced up with an artwork.
Mike Willis-Minister of the New Life Christian Centre and his wife artist Karen Sinclair-Willis are seen beside the former Benfield Garage at Morpeth which is being spruced up with an artwork.
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VIKING visitors are coming to Morpeth to help spruce up a town eyesore.

A group of 24 young Norwegians will arrive next week to take part in various projects in the town, including a family fun day, community events and sports.

And they will be put to work at the former Benfield showroom in Castle Bank to paint the boarded up premises with local artist Karen Willis every afternoon next week.

The project was suggested by Morpeth Town Council to improve the environment for the Bloom entry.

Mrs Willis said: “The theme is wild flowers to tie in with Bloom and the nearby Carlisle Park. We could have birds and dragonflies, ducks and swans, keeping it simple, but also making it really eye-catching.

“Hopefully, we will get some of the young folk in Morpeth joining in as well.”

The visitors from Trondheim are coming to the region in a trip organised by Norwegian churches and the More In Gold scheme, which helps churches to celebrate the Olympic Games. They will carry out community work to thank Northumberland for the part it played in spreading Christianity to their country when Viking invaders took the faith home.

New Life Christian Centre Minister Mike Willis, who is one of the organisers, said: “The community project at Benfield is really nice because it shows we care about the community and it is something tangible.

“It is happening right in the street so people can come and see what is going on and some of our local volunteers will also help.”

The initiative will also include a holiday club at Stobhillgate First School, run in partnership with The Mustard Tree Trust, based around Mark’s Gospel. It will offer singing, games and other activities for five to 11-year-olds, running daily from 10am to noon next week.

For more information email holidayclub@newlife-morpeth.org.uk